Coldest start of 2021, and it’s getting colder

It hasn’t been this cold for seven months and it looks like the plunging temperatures are here to stay as Australia hurtles towards winter.

Sydney shivered through its coldest start to the day for seven months this morning; Melbourne for six months.

In some places it’s only going to get chillier as double cold fronts barrel through during the middle of the week. But even where the mercury is set to rise, meteorologists are clear on one thing: the hot days are almost certainly done; we’re solidly into autumnal weather conditions now.

Melbourne sunk to 7.8C at dawn this morning, with an apparent temperature of 5C. It hasn’t been that chilly since last October.

Sydney’s 10.3C, which felt more like 5.5C at around 7am was the Harbour City’s coldest start since September last year.

Hobart dipped below 7C this morning. Cold, but not as cold as Sunday’s 5.6C in the capital. Nonetheless, for Tasmania it’s the iciest week of the year so far.

“It’s only autumn but it sure feels like winter,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s Hobart office on Monday.

But for South Australia, it’s fire not frost which is the risk. A total fire ban is in place for the Lower Eyre and York peninsulas.

Dry air lingering in the wake of the fronts that swept through on the weekend combined with wind and warmer weather is building ahead of a coming cold front.

“It’s not that hot for South Australia, but it’s exceptionally dry with strong winds leading to severe to extreme fire danger,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharpe.

Adelaide is set to settle into a rut of 21C maximums this week with possible light showers until Thursday and then again from Sunday. The mercury will drop in the early mornings from 14C on Wednesday to just 9C on Saturday.

Double cold fronts to hit south

A pair of cold fronts are set to hit the southern state in quick succession this week. One on Wednesday and another barrelling through on Thursday.

Get set for that to deliver highs of around 20C in Melbourne for the coming days drop to 16C by Friday. That would be one of the coldest days of the year so far, although not as cold as Sunday’s maximum of 14.5C.

There will be some showers in Melbourne on Thursday as the fronts go through. Damaging winds could bee seen through central Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hobart will dip from maximums of 19C up until Wednesday to 15C on Thursday with showers. It will then recover to 19C for the weekend. A low of just 7C will be felt on Friday morning.

It could be gusty, particularly on the west coast as the fronts pass through. A severe weather warning is in place for much of Tasmania, including Hobart, with winds of 60-790 km/h and 100 km/h gusts expected from Tuesday evening and into Wednesday.

Some snow is possible on higher ground in Tasmania – as well as Victoria and New South Wales – but the lack of moisture means there won’t be a huge amount of the white stuff.

Calm in Canberra with mostly sunny days all week and highs of 19-20C. Mornings will be cold, however, with 5C for the rest of the week but then down to 1C on Sunday morning.

After a brief rally to almost 30C on Wednesday, Sydney will slip to a high of 23C on Friday with some rain and then 22C on Saturday. Minimums will be around the mid-teens.

Rain, some heavy, could be a feature on Friday and Saturday for the Hunter and mid north coast.

Bucking the trend, Brisbane is getting warmer – from 26C on Wednesday to 30C on Friday – then falling again into the mid-twenties for the weekend. Mostly sunny with minimums in the mid-teens.

Northern Queensland is likely to be soggier with tropical moisture passing through and a vigorous low heading from the Pacific to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Cairns could see showers all week with highs in the low thirties.

Sunny in Darwin with maximums of 33C and lows on 24C. A possible shower on Friday.

After Cyclone Seroja, things are calming down in Western Australia. Perth will see a sunny week topping out at 28C on Sunday but cooler mornings around the 12C mark.

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